Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine

This is the true story of Henry, who dreams of a world where his life belongs to him. But when his family is sold to another slave owner, he risks everything. With the strength and conviction of the best kind of hero, Henry makes a harrowing journey in a wooden crate--and mails himself to freedom.
Kadir Nelson's luminous paintings bring this story alive for children, helping them to see and imagine what it was like to fit in that box and bump along to another place--and to anticipate freedom.

For readers 8-12.

Dragon Dancing by Carole Lexa Schaefer

In this very large and playful picture book, there are dragons, sparkly paper, ribbons, spangles and squiggles. Children put them them all together using their imaginations.
The result? A dragon dance of joyful exhuberance, a birthday celebration in which all the children can participate.

For ages 3 and up, to the delight of the adults who love them, read to them, play with them.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Red Moon at Sharpsburg by Rosemary Wells

India Moody lives in northern Virginia with her family. They are caught in the whirlwind and chaos of the Civil War. India, at 14, has intense questions about the war: why is it happening, is it about slavery, why do some neighbors fight for the North while others don uniforms for the South? Underneath it all is the unspoken question: what is war really like and why do people pursue it, often to hopeless ends?
Wells uses the probing of India as she navigates between her parents, the oncoming Union troops, freed slaves, and ravaged neighbors to ask these important questions which are contemporary in the age of Iraq and Afghanistan. She experiences the horrors of a battlefield while she presses to find her father who is in charge of ambulances and care of the wounded in his Rebel regiment.
Although the story of Civil War chaos and struggle has been told many times, this book offers a unique opportunity to readers, their parents and teachers to look at the issues it raises and come to their own conclusions.

Big Alaska: Journey Across America's Most Amazing State by Debbie S. Miller

See Alaska through the eyes of our national symbol, the bald eagle. That is the intriguing focus of this journey to some of the extraordinary places in an extraordinary state, Alaska.
Author Debbie S. Miller writes often and skillfully about her home state; here she emphasizes the distinct size and unique features of the forests, mountains, and parks of Alaska. Illustrator Jon Van Zyle creates visual portraits of the wildlife, natural features and special locations which are featured, such as Denali National Park, the Iditarod Trail and the Yukon River and its tributaries.
This nonfiction book will delight young readers(8-12) and others who are eager to "see" Alaska for themselves. Miller is a totally reliable source about all aspects of this special place; she includes descriptive facts, state symbols,and climate records to expand her readers' store of information. Teachers and librarians will want to include the book in their contemporary US geography collections because of its beauty and accuracy.